4 Ways to Create a More Successful Portfolio
Updated: April 20, 2016
Your portfolio plays a very important role in your quest for good freelance work through Upwork. It can be effectively used to highlight your past and present projects, pieces you’re particularly proud of and that should encourage clients to hire you.
You might choose to just upload screenshots and files, but it’s possible to tweak your portfolio in ways that can really convince a client to hire you as a contractor. Here are four tips that can help you make your portfolio work better for you.
1. Have a Portfolio Piece for Each Service You Provide
You’re a freelancer who specializes in Service A, B, and C. If you’re aiming for clients looking for these three services, showcase work where you used each of your specialties.
For example, I’m a copywriter that loves working with product descriptions, blogging, and website copy. To show clients that these are the services I provide and that I’m good at, I’ve uploaded three to five portfolio items that display my latest product copywriting, blogging, and website copywriting projects. Each one is categorized separately and has its own unique project description.
2. Write a Well-written Description for Each Portfolio Piece
Utilize the project description textbox by writing a brief but interesting story of how your project came to be. You can start by writing what your main task was, how you tackled the client’s problem or met his requirements, and other important details.
What’s important here is that it’s short and concise enough to tell a potential client what you did, what skills you used, and how you successfully nailed the project goals. One or two short paragraphs should do the trick.
3. Update Your Portfolio With the Latest Screenshots and Links
A screenshot of your latest published article, website, or logo—plus a link to each—will certainly help keep your chances of winning freelance projects high. A potential client can easily take a look at the screenshot to see what the project looks like, then click on the link to see it up close.
If you’ve made any changes to your old portfolio pieces, make sure you take and upload a new screenshot of it and ensure its URL is still correct.
4. Delete or Revamp Old Projects That Don’t Reflect Your Skills As a Freelancer
Chances are you have old projects in your portfolio that you’ve outgrown already. As you hone and improve your skills, you don’t want future clients to see obsolete projects that don’t truly reflect how good you’ve become.
Your best bet would be to either revamp these old projects using your latest skills, or to delete them all together. If you feel that these projects still matter to you, apply new techniques to make them look shiny and new again. Otherwise, just delete these projects from your portfolio to make room for new ones.
Here’s a bonus tip: Don’t settle. Every project you bring to the table comes with a hefty side dish of experience and growth—both of which will make you a more valuable professional in the market. This improvement is what you want your clients to see, so don’t hesitate to push excellent work each and every time. As soon as your client gives permission to use the finished project in your portfolio, upload the screenshot, paste the link, and point it out to the next client in line.
Take a look at your portfolio right now. How is it doing? Is it bringing in new interview invitations, or does it need a fresh start? Share your thoughts in the comments below!